About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Monday, March 23, 2009

sick, not limited to the physical sense

Cheerio has been sick. I don't like being sick, especially if it lingers. I don't want to complain, as it is just a temporary sickness, not a life-threatening disease. But it's still "sick" when it feels like it is taking all your strength to walk 3 feet. That's been Cheerio's world. At work one day one of the New Yorker fellows I work with says, "Hey, Cheerio - what's up with you? You've been moping around for days now." Thanks, Man! Gotta love Italians and their no-nonsense approach? Eh? Today I'm feeling better and I'm getting stronger every day. I'm starting to walk kind of normal. I'm moving a little slow, and a tiny bit unsteady. I'm not making any quick turns or dashing about, that's certain. When this first hit me, I was in bed - slept all day, kind of sick for two days. One night as I'm lying there trying desperately to fall asleep, I realized just how sick I really am. Here I've been barely able to wobble downstairs for a drink for a few days. And my first sign of recovery was the over-activeness of my brain. "Sick" I am, to finally have strength to even just think and the thoughts pummeling my mind are ... about the 'A' word. GAAA! I can't even escape it when I'm sick! I'm laying there thinking about my blog, and what I'd like to write about. I'm thinking about the topics I've read on an Adoptee Forum. I'm thinking about how I can make a difference in the people around me from day to day - trying to break through their predictable 'adoption is a loving choice', and 'it's a win-win situation' blinders. I'm thinking about how much adoption hurts and yet the general population has no clue how much. I'm thinking how hard it is to combat that. I'm thinking about my on-line friends who are in reunion stages - and they're struggling. I'm thinking about how hard my own reunion will be. His amom and adad won't communicate with me at all now, should I expect THAT to change when he turns 18? HA! I'm not counting on it!
My mind is churning as I'm predicting my son will face what I hear from my adoptee friends ... that they're made to feel Guilty for thinking about their natural family ... that they're labeled as disloyal for searching ... that even when aparents say they're for searching and re-union - they don't really mean it. GAAA! I am coughing up hairballs like you wouldn't believe and my chest muscles hurt, yet my mind is already thinking, no obsessing about Adoption! Sometimes I just want to be a normal person. I wish someone could unscrew a plate in the back of my head, and just yank the "adoption" fuse out. Please. Please let me go to bed thinking about my seedlings, my sewing crafts, plans for my flower beds, and the heavenly smell of mulch. Please - enough of Adoption already!!!
Just make it stop! Make it go away! Change the mp3 playlist!
now that's one sick puppy

Sunday, March 8, 2009

young hearts..

young hearts ..
two people in love? it couldnt have been. young hearts, young minds, nobody seen. Her belly grows, Everything is okay. He cheats, she cries, then runs away. She's all alone now, with nowhere to turn. She's way to young, theres so much to learn. Her belly grows more each day. second thoughts, is there another way? Baby born, so tiny and new. she whispers quietly "i love you" She looks into her baby's eyes. The love inside her suddenly dies. She kisses her baby one last time. She knew she had to say goodbye. Her tears fell as she walked away. Hoping to see her baby again someday. The baby cries, all alone. As she waits for someone to take her home. People come, but who are they? strangers just came and took her away. The baby grows, but somethings wrong. The little girl does not belong. She knows there's something not quite right. She dreams of her face every night. Her parents tell her, "your special to us" "and there's no need to make a fuss." She goes through life broken and alone. Still waiting for someone to take her home. She knew there was someone that had a peice of her heart. This person stole it when they got ripped apart. She needed to find her. She tried really hard. But it broke her down and left her scarred. So many nights, she would lay there and cry. The life was drained right from her eyes. She got lucky one day, and thats when she knew. her searching was over, her wish had came true. She found her way back to where she belonged. With both of her parents, she got to go home. But thats when she realized it won't be the same. She missed out on everything, but theres no one to blame. She tries to be grateful, and is most the time. But these were my parents, they were soposed to be mine. Its not fair and will never be. Im just happy i can love you, and you can love me.
February 24, 2009, 11:04:19 pm
copied with permission from author:
BrokenButterfly

Friday, March 6, 2009

Crash & Burn

Last night I was talking to a friend. I had called because I misread a short message she sent earlier. Turns out that she was doing just fine, and we were able to just chatter and laugh. I don’t even know how we got on the subject – the subject of my son. She asked if I want to find him. I have been trying to play by the rules - even though no one else really has. The adoption agency is a bunch of money grubbing scripture twisting religion perverting baby selling liars. The aparents, although I can see how they were misinformed by the agency like I was, that does not absolve them. They could at least have some common decency that ordinary folk have such as a simple reply to a letter. That would have been considerate. And yet, here is Cheerio…playing by the rules. I keep saying that I will wait until he is 18, until he is an adult to search for him. And if anyone asks why, it’s because I’m thinking “that is what the rules are.” Rules like - I should not interfere with his life. I should just disappear so it doesn’t confuse him. The rule, that I should let him choose if he wants to find me. These rules - I don’t even know where they came from. Ha! Or as one lady flat out said to me, “Honey, he’s 14. You don’t want him now, not when he’s 14. Believe me.” You know what? She’s wrong. Yes, I do want him. I have always wanted him. Just because teenagers are ‘difficult’, what should that have to do with my wanting him? I don’t know what triggered my mind to go the direction it did last night.
My friend mentioned myspace. She was commenting that he probably has a myspace page. She asked if I was ready for her son’s help to find my son. Flippant and quietly I agreed. She heard me, even though I didn’t really intend to even agree. I don’t know, maybe it was my subconscious that finally squeaked past the iron reinforced gate of rules. And so I give her the information I have. His adopted first name and his middle name. I gave his birth date and birth year. His aparents first names and his older abrother’s first name. She knows what state I live in. I told her what county within my state that my gut tells me he is. My mind was defaulting to my emergency plan. I’ve been playing by the rules but I always clung to an emergency plan just in case the aparents ever told me that I had to stop sending him stuff. That would be the breaking point for me. If that were to happen, I’d die trying to find him. Then I would be mailing THEM pictures of him. My emergency plan involved a file that is at the bottom of the big white box of adoption papers in it. The box has “REFORM” written on it. I rummage to the bottom until I have in my hands the folders I wanted. I went back out to the couch and was looking through the paperwork. It is totally unrelated to the questions my friend was asking me, or what she was talking about. I’m kind of half listening to her (because I’m a railroad, one thing at a time, not a talented multi-tasker). I finally told her what I was looking at. “I’m looking at my adoption finalization paperwork.” “PUT IT AWAY!” She says to me. “What are you looking at that for? P u t it a w a y.” I ignored her instructions, and kept reading, kept looking at these papers. It was the pack of dockets sent from the attorney’s office. I remember the phone call before these papers arrived 14 years ago. The phone call was from the NOTChristian adoption agency. The phone call went something like this, “Hi. We’re just calling to let you know that your legal paperwork is going to be put in the mail. We recommend you don’t read it, because the language is harsh.” Wow. What darling advice from an obviously NOTChristian agency – “our advice is to not read your legal paperwork.” Ahhh, now that’s beautiful stuff. I personally think this says VOLUMES about where they stand in ethics vs. unethical practices. Too bad I didn’t see that red flag at the time. I was too under the spell and in a fog. So here I am with legal paperwork I’ve had for 14 years. I actually thumbed through parts of it 3 years ago. That was to point out that THEIR legal paperwork promises either counseling, or a list of references to get counseling for the natural mother. This was AFTER I went to their current “birth parent counselor” and the branch director saying I needed help. I’ll never forget sitting in their office 9 years after the adoption. They sounded so sincere and caring. And in soft gentle tones say, sorry we don’t even know of a counselor we could refer you to. And when I ask for at least the title of a book so I could find some healing, he sat there shaking his head. His hands were folded in his lap and he softly says, “Gee. I can’t think of any.” Ok, I apologize. You just got two rants for free. Just please don’t forget about my story when you think about adoption agencies – and especially the religious ones. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Ok, two rants and a super mini sermon for free. So there I sat with legal paperwork that I have never looked at before. I’ve held onto it, and have always known exactly where it was. But until now I had never read it. As I went thru each docket, I’d flip it over and sit it to my left. Some I would just skim over, others I actually read. About mid-way thru, one of the papers caught my eye. It was the last page of a docket that was flipped over. An outline was showing through. I wondered what in the world was on that piece of paper, and picked that docket back up. I turned to the last page and my eyes got as big as saucers. My jaw literally dropped open and I just kept saying “Oh, my word. Oh, my word. I can’t believe it. Oh, man, I can’t believe this.” I almost forgot I was still on the phone with my friend. She’s trying to find out what’s going on. I tell her that I was looking at a copy of my son’s OBC. For people unfamiliar with adoption issues, OBC stands for Original Birth Certificate. It is exactly what it says it is. It is the Original Document of their Birth Facts. The OBC has his birth date. It has the name we gave him that day. It has the name of his biological father and biological mother (that would be my husband and me). It also has the name of the hospital where he was born. In my state, the OBC is sealed when an adoption is finalized. A new, Altered Birth Certificate is created to replace it. The ABC lists the aparents as the mother and father. In my state, adoption records are sealed. It is especially sealed from an adoptee, even after the adoptee is a legal adult. So having the OBC is a BIG, really big deal. I’ve had one all this time and never knew it. I was stunned. I am putting a copy for my son in his “treasure box” so that he will have it for himself someday. I was feeling pretty good about having this for him. A year ago, I would not have seen it as anything special. However, I am learning about the plight of adoptees and their fight for open records. I realize that this piece of paper has more meaning to an adoptee than any other American Citizen. And then I put my papers back in the box, and put it back in the closet. I go to bed and fall asleep. On my way into work this morning, it all starts to hit me. That was my handwriting on that paperwork I looked at last night. It was definitely my signature. I don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember when I signed. I don’t remember where I was when I signed. I don’t remember if I was alone when I signed. I don’t remember if I was in the hospital? In an office at the Agency? Or back at my apartment? I don’t remember anything anyone said to me. I have no recollection about it at all. And yet, that was clearly my handwriting. Undeniably, it was mine. By the time I got to work, the weight became heavier, and the thoughts would not relent. That was my signature. I gave my baby away to strangers. I abandoned him. I abandoned him. At the time, that is not what I perceived I was doing. But in reality, that is what I did. Here is this piece of paper proving he was my son, and yet I gave him away. I left him with strangers and walked away. That was MY signature. That was MY handwriting. How could I do such a thing? How do you look your kid in the eye and say “I gave you away.” What nerve to think I should try to ‘find’ him? How dare I? Why would he want me now? If it was just my pain, so what! But when I learned that so many adoptees hurt and have unnecessary and painful baggage, just because they are adopted. That is what makes it so unbearable to me. I have not had a crash and burn episode for quiet awhile. Today was definitely a crash and burn. I am so lucky I was able to be in an office and shut the door while I cried. I was sitting in my chair, trying to focus on the computer screen. I was rocking; I was just rocking back and forth with tears streaming down my face. Sometimes I would cry out loud and just hold my head in my hands and sob. I can’t figure out how to forgive myself. How can I hope that he would?
crash
burn

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"He's a Starfish too"

I don't care if you're a girl, or if you're a guy - Everyone needs a good friend.

I'm not talking about people who know a whole lot about you, or even the people you might party with. I'm talking about a real, genuine, true blue friend. Someone who also knows what is going on inside of you. Someone who knows what makes you tick. Someone who knows what your 'hot' buttons are. Someone who knows how rotten you can really be, and yet they're still your friend anyway.

Everyone needs a friend like that. If you can find more than one or two, hang onto them with all your might. They're more than their weight in gold.

I have an on-line friend who is like that. By now she is not surprised to hear about my color coded to do list on my white board at work. She is not surprised to hear that everything I've even sent to my son is methodically organized and preserved to perfection. She is not surprised to hear about the most recent practical joke I've pulled over on someone.

We talk on the phone every three weeks or so. And I love every time we talk. I love that she listens to my boring stories. I love to hear her laugh. I especially love hearing the commotion in the background at her house (all the time!).

When she calls me and is upset, I hate to know she is hurting, but I am glad that I can be there for her when she needs a listening ear or reassuring hand on her shoulder.

And so, I'm telling my friend Cassi about the episode of Uncle Ian and the Adoption Sales Pitch.
I was actually talking to her on the same night it happened. I'm being my animated usual self, with raising and lowering my voice to add emphasis and interest. I was still feeling kind of confident for taking a stand. I'm vocalizing to her what my next step is. I emphatically state that "I am now on a quest to find the perfect phrase to silence Uncle Ian for good! I need that phrase which would drive the silver spike through his heart to ensure the dark, evil, and vampirish subject of adoption will NEVER come up again. I need to put him in his place!"
You know what happened next?
I bet not, because it sure caught me by surprise.
Instead of being egged on by my friend, she says something that stops me in my tracks.
If you have a good friend, like I described. I'm sure you would agree that you know that you're in for trouble when they say, "Can I be brutally honest with you?"
I stopped. I literally stopped. I think my arm was midair, and my pacing of the floor ceased. I thought to myself, "Gee, this is bad. What now?"
After pondering her question for what seemed like an hour, but surely it was only a few seconds, I said to her, "Yes, please be honest with me."
And quietly (well, as "quiet" as is possible for Cassi) she says to me, "But, Cheerio, you know ... he's a starfish too."
Instantly turmoil broke lose inside of me. I felt myself protesting, "But...." "NO!" "no, no, no, no! I can't". My offensive stance disappeared, and instantly all the walls to protect myself went up.
She goes on to describe what I did NOT want or even Care to hear, but I needed anyway.
She asked, "Who? Who is going to prepare him for what his two beautiful Chinese daughters will face in the years to come? Who will help him and his wife realize that these two girls deserve the right to grieve instead of being forced to feel grateful? Who will help this family through the greatly misunderstood turmoil ahead?
"How will they ever come to know that there is another side of adoption? -the side that involves loss, instead of gain? -the side that is sadness instead of smiles? -the side that hurts deeper than words would ever reach? - the side that is brokenness instead of butterflies and rainbows?
"How will
they
EVER
know?"
At this point, I'm just standing there listening. My tirade is over, and my spear is on the ground and out of reach. There will be no fight, no target on whom I can unleash all my anger and rage of past hurts.
No, no fight this time.
She's right.
I was standing in front of the coal stove. My right hand was holding the cell phone up to my ear. My left hand would clench, unclench, clench and unclench again. ((With long nails a person needs to do this exercise carefully; otherwise there can be little spots of blood seeping through where the skin was punctured just a little too hard.))
Although she recognizes that I am not ready to 'go public', with my 'adoption story'. Well, quite the contrary, it is not a 'story' it is the 'truth' that I've refused to reveal.
At the same time this man's two beautiful daughters deserve for their father to KNOW the 'other' side of adoption.
Unexpectedly I come up with a different plan.
Instead of "putting him in his place" with a verbal attack,
I will offer him a different perspective.
I haven't hammered out all the details just yet. But here is the crux of the plan.
In some way, shape, or form, Uncle Ian will be invited to join others who could "talk about adoption for hours". Hopefully he will have an "open mind" and join us on July 21st, 2009
at the Adoptee Rights Demonstration in Philadelphia, PA.
"...he's a starfish too"